Polish mine accident deaths: 12; 11 missing

Authorities have reported that 12 people died in two accidents at coal mines last week in south Poland. The bodies of two miners and another worker were discovered at the same mine.

Polish mine accident deaths: 12; 11 missing

Two bodies were discovered, indicating that at least six miners died in Saturday's methane gas release and tremor at Borynia Zofiowka mine. Four other missing miners are still being sought by rescue workers.

A miner who was injured in methane gas explosions at the Pniowek mine on Wednesday also died in hospital, according to the Jastrzebska Spolka Weglowa company (JSW), which runs both mines in Poland’s southern Jastrzebie–Zdroj area, near the Czech border.

Six people have been killed in the repeated explosions at Pniowek's mine. After more methane explosions on Thursday, which injured 10 rescue workers, the search for seven Pniowek miner still missing was stopped. For safety reasons, teams are currently building two solid partitions that will seal off the blasts area and the rest of Pniowek's mine.

In addition to the victims and their families, many miners were also injured, with many being hospitalized with burns.

Mateusz Morawiecki, Poland's Prime Minister, said that it was a "black Week" for the country's coal industry which employs nearly 80,000 workers. He also said that the state will support the families of the victims. He was speaking as he visited Bytom's Central Mining Rescue Station, in southern Poland.

Prosecutors opened an investigation into the incidents, and Morawiecki stated that experts would review conditions and procedures at both mines. Many of the Polish coal mines are located in southern Silesia, where there is a high level of methane.

About 70% of Poland's electricity comes from coal. This has been severely criticized by the European Union as well as environmental groups concerned about climate change and CO2 emissions.

Poland has been working to reduce its coal use. Morawiecki recently stated that Poland had stopped imports of coal from Russia and Belarus as a response to Moscow's invasion. However, Poland has been working for years to reduce its dependence on Russian energy sources.


 

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